> First model in Genesis UK re-launch
> Sleek saloon will rival Audi A6
> One petrol and one diesel engine on offer
> 14.5-inch infotainment screen
> Prices start at £37,460
Launching alongside the GV80 SUV, the G80 saloon is positioned as a direct rival to the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. And while it looks ultra-luxurious, it’s cheaper than its German rivals. Genesis is, after all, Hyundai’s luxury brand so it comes as little surprise that it majors on affordability.
The G80 will be in showrooms in the near future but in the meantime here’s everything you need to know about luxurious-yet-affordable saloon.
If you knew nothing about Genesis as a brand, or the fact that it’s owned by Hyundai, there’s a very good chance you’d think the G80 was a seriously expensive piece of kit. That’s mainly down to the grille, which is gigantic and sports a diamond-like chrome mesh. It’ll likely split opinion, but there’s no denying that it gives the luxury saloon a distinct look.
Then there are the headlights, which are split in two to give the car a more aggressive look. That’s replicated at the rear of the car, but what’s particularly striking at the back is the ducktail-like spoiler sculpted into the boot lid. That sits at the base of a sloping rear window that gives the car a near-coupe silhouette despite incorporating a traditional saloon boot lid.
Remarkably, the G80 isn’t just a rebodied Hyundai Sonata. The saloon is constructed around an all-new platform, which not only increases interior space over the old model but it also has a lower centre of gravity for improved handling.
Step inside the G80 and you’ll be greeted with a cabin that’s seriously luxurious. Take away the Genesis badges and you’d think you were inside a Mercedes S-Class, if you squint. There’s a single piece of trim that spans the width of the dashboard, above which sits the air vents that are neatly integrated into the design, while the top of the dash is covered in leather.
There’s more wood and leather on the centre console, which itself houses a rotary dial for the infotainment display and various storage options. There are also some physical buttons for the climate settings, bucking the trend of touch-only controls, and there are even some shortcut buttons for the infotainment system too.
Even the steering wheel appears to have been plucked from an old Mercedes S-Class but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
You may have noticed the 14.5-inch infotainment display that sits above the dashboard. Granted, it isn’t as neatly integrated as the systems found in the Mercedes E-Class or Jaguar XF, but it still looks smart and, judging from what we’ve seen so far, should be nice and sharp. It hasn’t just been lifted from a Hyundai, either, with the Genesis getting its own graphics to reflect its premiumness. You can also spec screens in the back, too, and you can also bathe the can in a colour of your choice thanks to ambient lighting.
Back up front, the driver gets a digital instrument cluster that changes depending on which driving mode you’re in. Comfort, for instance, has a more minimalist appearance while sport mode adds red highlights and a track graphic in the centre of the display. The dials also show the car’s blind sports when indicating, a feature we’ve seen on the new Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sorento.
This latest generation of the G80 offers more rear leg and headroom than the car it replaced thanks to a sunken rear bench. This also allow designers to make the rake on the roofline sharper.
While we don’t have interior dimensions yet, because of the G80’s size space should be plentiful in the cabin. That said, the boot is a relatively poor 371-litres. That’s less than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Jaguar XF and Audi A6.
At launch the will be two different engine options to choose from for the G80. Kicking off the range is a 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine producing 199bhp that sends power to the rear axle. But if you fancy a bit more punch you’ll want to go for the 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. This version boasts a power output of 296bhp, which is sent to all-four wheels. And, like the diesel, it gets an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
There is a 3.5-litre six-cylinder petrol engine available on both the G80 and GV80 SUV, developing 375bhp and 530Nm of torque. Unfortunately, it’s looking unlikely the six-cylinder unit will make its way to the UK.
And if you fancy an EV, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer. Genesis plans to launch three new electric cars by 2023, and we know one of those will be based on the smaller G70. There’s no word yet on whether the G80 will be given the EV treatment.
The G80 looks set to be a proper contender and has already received high praise from those who have taken one for a spin in the US and Korea. And with prices starting at £37,460, it appears, on paper at least, as though it could be a bit of a bargain.
We’ll have to wait for the full spec breakdown to be released, as we don’t know how its standard equipment compares to its rivals, but if we take it at face value the G80 would undercut the competition by several thousand pounds.
The G80 will hit showrooms in the coming weeks.